Carter, Temple win Coach of the Year honors
Two appearances in state championship basketball games netted a pair of top honors for the respective coaches.
Mark Temple, head coach of the 2021 Class 1A state champion East Iberville girls basketball team, was named Coach of the Year for Class 1A girls basketball.
Meanwhile, Dewon Carter, who led White Castle to a fierce battle for the Class 1A title that ultimately went to Arcadia, impressed the Louisiana Sportswriters Association enough to land him Coach of the Year for 1A boys basketball.
For Temple, it was a dream come true.
“First I think God, because when I was coaching, I was only seeing the championship as a vision and it became a reality,” he said.
Those aspirations took shape during his days at White Castle High School when he saw Tammy Pierce win Coach of the Year a decade ago.
As assistant to Pierce, she gave him assurance.
“She said at the time that someday I’ll win it myself,” Temple said. “She saw something in myself that I didn’t see, so winning this award is a very humbling experience.
“There’s a lot of good coaches on the 1A level, so for my name to get called, it’s a testimony to my kids and assistant coaches … if not for them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Temple said the coaching job came at a tough time in his life, but her assurance gave him the confidence to make it happen.
“Coach Pierce planted the seed,” he said. “Years went by and I started believing, I held on to her words and said one day they will call my name and said one day I’ll get my name called as Coach of the Year.”
For Carter, it came as more of a surprise.
He did not expect the top honor after his team finished runner-up.
“I didn’t think it would be me … I wasn’t even thinking about it,” said Carter, whose classroom was beside Temple’s when the two worked together at WCHS. “I was going to be patient and wait my turn. Mark had a couple years under the belt already, so all of this seems unreal.”
It also went against the grain in terms of recognition, he said.
“We always said that being in a small town and small area, you always get overlooked,” Carter said. “This will make our kids want it more and fight for everything they get. Big cities always get the attention, but all these little towns get overlooked, but we have a lot of great athletes here in Iberville Parish.”
The biggest compliment for Carter came from longtime White Castle boys hoop coach Ronald “Sam” Johnson, a veteran mentor who helped make the program a powerhouse.
“He told me if I make it through the season, do a good job and not give up, I’d be fine,” Carter said. “He told me I’ve kept the tradition going at White Castle High School.”